As you can imagine, the mood is great within the Clarehaven camp after the feature race wins for Stradivarius and Too Darn Hot on the opening two days of Glorious Goodwood.
Mr Gosden has prepared our two stars to the minute, though as he’s always keen to stress it’s a huge team effort to get them to the races in perfect shape, and plenty of credit goes to all the lads and lasses back at the yard.
There’s a chance things could be about to get even better this afternoon, as we have Mehdaayih to look forward to in the day three feature at 3.35pm, as this talented filly goes in the mile and quarter Group 1 Nassau Stakes.
A win here would give my good pal Frankie Dettori a remarkable 12th Group 1 victory of the season. What a campaign he is having, though if you saw close-up how hard he works, you wouldn’t be surprised.
Being objective, I suppose the one concern you could highlight heading into this race is the potential for an extremely able and gifted sort like Mehdaayih to become a shade unbalanced on an unconventional track like Goodwood.
She’s learning and developing all the time, but as I’ve highlighted previously in my FansBet blog, she can get out of kilter if the venue isn’t completely to her liking.
It caught her out at Epsom and was nearly her undoing at Saint-Cloud when she won her Group 2 the last day.
Another factor to consider is the ground. Drying conditions allied to today’s drop back in trip could be a factor, especially when she’s up against a top notcher like Hermosa, who will be a tough nut to crack.
Where the latter is concerned, I’m fairly sure the step up to a mile and a quarter will be no issue. She was prominently ridden when winning both Guineas, outstaying and outclassing everything.
Goodwood is more of a speed than a stamina track, so if you were to be asked to ride one of them, Hermosa is likely the safest option.
I’d love Mehdaayih to prove that opinion wrong, she’s certainly good enough and working very well, but as I’ve said Hermosa might just be better suited by the situation that presents itself on the day.
Elsewhere on what will be a great afternoon’s racing to watch, Royal Ascot Coventry Stakes second and third, Threat and Guildsman, meet again in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at 2.25pm.
It’s a race where I suspect most jockeys would want to go with the form book and choose Threat if they were lucky enough to be faced with the opportunity of riding one of the pair.
His trainer, Richard Hannon, has a superb record in the Richmond and I think will win it again today as I’m struggling to see why Guildsman should turn the tables from the Royal Meeting.
Threat came from a long way back at Ascot, to be eventually beaten by a potential Group 1 horse in the shape of Arizona. Unlike Guildsman he hasn’t run since, meaning he’ll be a fresher horse today.
Lastly, one race I definitely don’t want to miss is the Group 3 Gordon Stakes over a mile and a half at 3.00pm.
Irish visitors Constantinople and Leo De Fury add an extra dimension to a quality race which also includes Godolphin’s Jalmoud, plus the ever-improving Dal Horrisgle for William Haggas.
However, I thought the one to show them all the way might be David Simcock’s runner Spanish Mission.
He improved for the step up in distance to a mile and five furlongs when winning the Bahrain Trophy emphatically at the Newmarket July Meeting, breaking the track record in the process.
This slight drop back in trip to a mile and a half I doubt will be a problem. He has low mileage and today’s race could very well turn out to be a stepping stone to the St Leger in September.
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